car charging station manufacturers:460 kW: Soon, the New Fastest Charging Lane
How much more? Within a few years, a new high-powered CCS standard, employing a special liquid-cooled version of the connector that’s backward compatible with today’s vehicles, will be able to provide DC fast-charging power up to 460 kW, 920 volts, and 500 amps. That will surpass even the seemingly unbelievable 800-volt figure that seemed like far-off vaporware in 2015, when Porsche mentioned it in conjunction with its Mission E concept. That would allow more than 250 miles of recovered range in as little as 15 minutes.
Even at such rates, experts caution that you’ll need a battery pack with range about 25 percent longer than the distances you seek to drive between charges. No matter the size of the pack, truly fast charging happens only for the first 80 percent of the capacity, Peeters noted, comparing it to pouring a glass of beer. Much depends on the technique and conditions, he said, but “you have to slow down for the last 20 percent or it will foam over.” Part of what has driven these deployment plans for fast-charging systems of 150 kW and higher, according to Peeters, is that lithium-ion battery packs are becoming more affordable—and thus larger—more rapidly than was anticipated some years ago. “Long story short, if you don’t have an EV with a 40-kWh battery, next year you’re out of business. It’s that simple,” he said. With current technology, cars with batteries in the 40- to 60-kWh range, of which there will soon be many, will take most of an hour to regain 80 percent after being fully discharged (or as near to that state as automakers will allow them to get). If drivers are heading out on long weekend drives, that hour is often too long for their purposes, Peeters and other charging-industry representatives argued at a recent panel on the topic. Yet, not everyone agrees that a bigger battery corresponds to the need for more fast-charging capability.
“It really comes down to use case,” said Fred Ligouri of General Motors, who pointed out that the Chevrolet Bolt EV with its 60-kWh battery pack is easily capable of handling any daily-driving need for the vast majority of its drivers as well as most weekend-driving chores.